Bolsa de Investigação: ARDITI-OOM/2017/007

Job:  Loggerhead turtles body condition and abundance fellowship for project Mistic Seas II;

Job/Fellowship Reference: ARDITI-OOM/2017/007;

Main research field: Biological sciences;

Sub research field: n/a;

Job summary:

In the context the project MISTIC SEAS, OOM-ARDITI is looking for a marine turtles researcher (graduate level degree), preferably with knowledge and experience in locating, identifying and capturing marine turtles at sea.

Job description:

“MISTIC SEAS II – Applying a subregional coherent and coordinated approach to the monitoring and assessment of marine biodiversity in Macaronesia for the second cycle of the MSFD“, is a project financed by the DG ENV, European Commission (No. 11.0661/2017/750679/SUB/ENV.C2). The project aims at implementing the common monitoring programs designed in MISTIC SEAS project and reinforce regionally coherent, coordinated and consistent updates to the determination of GES, as well as to prepare the next steps of the 2nd cycle of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive - MSFD (2008/56/EC), including the revision of the initial assessments and the definition of environmental targets by July 2018, in accordance with Article 17(2a and 2b), Article 5(2) and Article 3(5) of the MSFD.

This is a researcher position to carry out in the field the biological sampling work of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in Madeira archipelago as well as to assist in the pilot photo-identification study of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus). This work is to test the sampling approach proposed in the sub-programmes “Loggerhead capture and sampling” and “Abundance and demography of coastal cetaceans” established in Project MISTIC SEAS.

In the context of this project, OOM-ARDITI is looking for a marine turtle’s researcher (graduate level degree), preferably with knowledge and experience in locating, identifying and capturing marine turtles at sea. This person should also have knowledge and experience in carrying out biological sampling of turtles at sea and in the laboratory. The selected applicant will temporarily integrate the team of OOM - Oceanic Observatory of Madeira  working on marine turtles, headed by Thomas Dellinger,  scientist with over 20 years of experience studying these animals in Madeira archipelago.


For the applicant to be considered a candidate for this scholarship it is required to have a degree in biology, ecology or similar degree and be fluent English, both written and spoken.


The responsibilities of the marine turtles’ researcher include, among others:

  • Participate in the workshop to define the biological sampling strategy to implement the “Loggerhead capture and sampling” sub-program;
  • Participate in any theoretical and/or practical field work training;
  • Be part of a team to carry out daily campaigns to do biological sampling of marine turtles, namely, collect biometric data (size and weight) and collect tissue and blood samples to allow estimation of the body condition index (BCI), to perform genetic analysis and determine the sex ratio;
  • As a marine turtles’ researcher, implement and follow the protocol established for the biological samplings, including a systematic and proficient data collection at sea and an efficient coordination of tasks with the cetaceans’ photo-id researcher participating in the same campaigns, under the supervision of the Sub-program coordinator;
  • As a marine turtles’ researcher, insure the adequate handling, transport and sampling of captured animals to insure their wellbeing during the period between their capture and their release in the sea;
  • Organize, compile and validate all the data collected after each daily survey;
  • Collaborate in other navigational and logistical tasks on board while at sea;
  • Process or assist in processing samples (skin, blood, stomach contents, etc.) for posterior analysis;
  • Collaborate with other tasks of Project Mistic Seas II sub-programs that are being implemented in Madeira archipelago;
  • Collaborate in writing-up the reports considered in the project and related with the “Loggerhead capture and sampling” sub-program;

Scientific guidance and workplace

The work will be carried out at the Marine Biology Station of Funchal, University of Madeira, Funchal, and at the Science Unit of the Madeira Whale Museum, Caniçal, Madeira Island, under the supervision of Thomas Dellinger (PhD).


7 months


745.00 €/month tax free - ARDITI research fellowship (BI - Licenciado) monthly maintenance stipend and regulations are determined by ‘FCT-Fundação para a Ciência Tecnologia’ (

Evaluation criteria

FS = QA + EP + ML
FS – Final Scores
QA – Qualifications
EP – Experience
ML – Motivation


  • 3 points – Degree in marine Biology or Ecology;
  • 2 point – Small boat driving license accepted in Portugal to sail up to 5 nm from the coast, equivalent to the Portuguese license “Patrão local”;


  • 3 points – Field experience in studying marine turtles, including the identification of species and biological sampling, such as, measuring biometric data (size and weight) and collecting tissue and blood samples;
  • 2 points – Experience handling, transporting and sampling in the laboratory captured animals, to insure their wellbeing during the period between their capture and their release in the sea;
  • 2 points - Experience in organizing, validating and processing observational and biometric data of marine turtles;
  • 2 points – Experience in handling, preserving and processing tissue and blood samples, namely, to estimate the body condition index (BCI), to perform genetic analysis and determine sex ratio;
  • 1 point – Experience in the field photo-identification data (take images of dorsal fins), including, the use of digital photographic camera for these purposes;
  • 1 point – Good knowledge of Portuguese, spoken and written;


  • 4 points – Motivation;

The jury may decide to conduct an interview to the three best graded candidates in the qualifications, experience and motivation evaluation, and that interview will contribute to 40% of the final scores of these candidates (i.e., the joint score of the CV evaluation and motivation letter will be 60% of the final score).

Selection panel

  • Thomas Dellinger
  • Luís Freitas
  • Clemente Aguiar

Application contents

  • Motivation letter (highlighting the candidate’s motivation and adequacy to work, but not repeating the CV)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Relevant qualification certificates (e.g. Degree certificates and digital copy of the thesis if applicable)

Announcement of the results

Via e-mail.

Application submission and deadline

The application is to be submitted by email to Este endereço de email está protegido contra piratas. Necessita ativar o JavaScript para o visualizar. until the 19th May 2017


Vacant posts: 1
Type of contract: Temporary
Job country: Portugal
Job city: Funchal
Job company/institute: ARDITI


european commission MSII

Subscreva a newsletter


Copyright © 2023 ARDITI
We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.